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Whale Riding Weather's harsh truths 

Thom Fitzgerald directs Bryden MacDonald's the honest and sad play about love, as part of The Sex Festival.

click to enlarge Auto, Jude and Lyle. - SHAUN SIMPSON

The first ten minutes of Whale Riding Weather are basically a soliloquy by an aging queen named Lyle. He's fey yet charming, caustically funny and very drunk. Likeable, really. But as you watch the face of his younger lover Auto, who is sitting clench-jawed and vacant-eyed, you begin to wonder how charming and cute Lyle would seem after hours or days or a lifetime of his disjointed ramblings. And that is the crux of this play. Exactly how much loyalty does Auto owe to Lyle, especially when the young, puppy-cute Jude appears on the scene and offers him a more joyous existence? The answer is sad, depressing and honest. Fuelled by amazingly nuanced performances by Hugo Dann, Hugh Thompson and Ryan Doucette, this is not just a story that speaks of and to gay lovers, but to everyone who has dared to love at all.

To February 12, Plutonium Playhouse, 2315 Hunter Street, 8pm (4pm matinees Sat -Sun), $25/$20, plutoniumplayhouse.com

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